On the one hand, Anderson is highly regarded within the profession, and his 350-plus career win total as a head coach certainly speaks for itself. On the other hand, it isn't every day that a Catholic university in Queens hires a candidate whose basketball career, from player to assistant to head coach, has transpired entirely in the states of Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.
Nor was Anderson necessarily the Red Storm's first choice. Reports had St. John's pursuing a number of other candidates prior to Anderson, including Arizona State's Bobby Hurley, Loyola Chicago's Porter Moser, Iona's Tim Cluess and UMBC's Ryan Odom.
Of course, if geographic "fit" were all there is to hiring the right coach, one might guess that Brooklyn native and SJU legend Chris Mullin would have recorded a longer run at the helm for the Red Storm. Basically, St. John's tried going local, and the results were found wanting.
Now it's Anderson's turn. Here's what we've learned about the basketball areas in which the coach has excelled and how those skills might translate at St. John's.
Pressure D and postseason success
Make no mistake, Anderson can build a winning team. In just his second and third seasons as a head coach, he led UAB to a combined 22-10 record in Conference USA play from 2003 to 2005. Moreover, this was when C-USA included the likes of Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, Memphis and Houston. In the 2004 NCAA tournament, his No. 9-seeded Blazers beat top seed Kentucky 76-75 to reach the Sweet 16.